With concerts around the world halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people who make their living from the live music industry are currently without their main source of income. That includes the bands and crews of a number of country artists, including Jimmie Allen, who recently went to great lengths to make sure that his road family is still getting paid.
During a conversation with ABC's 20/20, Allen revealed that he took out a "crazy loan" in an effort to help out his band and crew. "I couldn’t sleep," he said. "I definitely did something that a lot of financial advisors wouldn’t support. My band and my crew, they’ve sacrificed so much for me. I was stressed out because I was like 'I'll be good financially,' but these guys have wives, they have families. So I said 'Screw it.' I went to the bank, and I took out this crazy loan. Like, a crazy loan. But I was like, ‘I’ve got 45 years to pay it back.'"
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Along with the struggle of being off the road, the Delaware native shared that he also dealt with mental health issues this year. "A lot of my mental issues came back," he said. "Kinda how I coped with [my bipolar disorder] is always staying busy, always doing something, whether it's playing shows, always having my hand in something. And in the first two weeks, it was rough. I didn't even get out of bed. I didn't eat. Mood swings were terrible. I realized for me and my mental health, I needed to be doing something. So that's kinda what, I was able to just dive into a bunch of other projects."
Other stars participating in the conversation included Darius Rucker, Charlie Worsham and Ashley McBryde, the former of whom shared that "the toughest part" of the pandemic was "when finally you just have to say, you can't just pay everybody."
"I paid everybody as long as I could and you see all this money going out and none coming in," Rucker said. "I've been playing with these guys for 14 years. The toughest part about all this, I think, is knowing people are struggling so bad. Not just people, people that you love. People that you have gone and shed blood with, out there you against the world playing to eight people. And they're struggling and there's nothing you can do about it. That's tough."